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Apple patent application reveals wireless iPod

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 
Analysts don't foresee an Apple iPod with wireless capabilities emerging anytime soon, but a newly obtained document provides incontrovertible evidence that the company has been experimenting with wireless iPods for nearly two years.

A patent application submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and recently obtained by AppleInsider, appears to portray an Apple iPod with wireless capabilities, including the ability to broadcast music to other devices.

The document's abstract begins, "One aspect of the media player system pertains to a docking station that allows a media player to communicate with other media devices. Another aspect of the media player system pertains to a wireless media player system that includes a hand held media player capable of transmitting information over a wireless connection and one or more media devices capable of receiving information over the wireless connection. Another aspect of the media player system pertains to a method of wirelessly connecting the hand held media player to another device. The method includes selecting a media item on the hand held media player; selecting one or more remote recipients on the hand held media player; and transmitting the media item locally to the hand held media player, and wirelessly to the selected remote recipients."

View the patent application in its entirety.

The document goes on to describe an iPod that can wirelessly transmit music and other information to other media systems: "Another aspect of the media player system pertains to a hand held music player that includes a transmitter for transmitting information over a wireless connection. The transmitter is configured to at least transmit a continuous music feed to one or more personal tuning devices that each include a receiver capable of receiving information from the transmitter over the wireless connection. Yet another aspect of the media player system pertains to a connector that includes a housing and a plurality of spatially separated contacts mounted within the housing. A first set of contacts are directed at a first functionality and a second set of contacts are directed at a second functionality that is different than the first functionality."

Apple filed for the patent on April 25, 2003. The document credits the technology to Anthony Fadell, Stephen Zadesky, and John Benjamin.

Earlier this year, AppleInsider noted that Apple was seeking a new member for its iPod hardware engineering division that was experienced in integrating both various wireless communication technologies as well as video.
post #2 of 44
Makes ya wonder how well existing media players with wireless capabilities are selling. If they were a hot product, Apple would have their own out by now, so they've been waiting for demand, or potential demand.
post #3 of 44
..every rumour these days is about iPods. I want to hear about Apple Computers.
post #4 of 44
A wireless iPod would be a nice addition for "active" users (ie. when running, working out, etc.)

I foresee headphones (Bluetooth?) that receive the broadcast from the iPod.

No more having your buds unceremoniously yanked out of your ears...
post #5 of 44
With Bluetooth, you could not only transmit the sound to wireless headphones, but also to a bluetooth-equipped radio (Bluetooth could be included in car radios for instance). You could also make a way for the radio to control the iPod wirelessly through Bluetooth while you're at it. And there are all kinds of other interesting applications I won't mention that could see the light of day...
post #6 of 44
Quote:
Originally posted by coolfactor
Makes ya wonder how well existing media players with wireless capabilities are selling. If they were a hot product, Apple would have their own out by now, so they've been waiting for demand, or potential demand.

I didn't know there where already media players that could transmit wirelessly. If Apple offere this, people would definately buy it. Especially since Apple needs to keep the cool factor going with each revision.

I didn't think Bluetooth range was all that great, but I guess still good enough for earphones.
post #7 of 44
The iPod G with AirTunes- Capable of transmitting and receiving data via 54g, the wireless remote everyones been waiting for. Seamless intergration with your Airport.

Coming soon...
post #8 of 44
Quote:
Originally posted by Boukman
With Bluetooth, you could not only transmit the sound to wireless headphones, but also to a bluetooth-equipped radio (Bluetooth could be included in car radios for instance). You could also make a way for the radio to control the iPod wirelessly through Bluetooth while you're at it. And there are all kinds of other interesting applications I won't mention that could see the light of day...

Yeah, sure, bluetooth included in cars. That'll be the day. Hell, only a minority of cars sell with Radios that have easily accessible (if any) line input jack.

Oh, and a bluetooth enabled iPod. Wonder how long that battery will last. Two hours (new) to 15 minutes (used), probably
post #9 of 44
Quote:
Originally posted by ct77
A wireless iPod would be a nice addition for "active" users (ie. when running, working out, etc.)

I foresee headphones (Bluetooth?) that receive the broadcast from the iPod.

No more having your buds unceremoniously yanked out of your ears...

one company already makes a bluetooth headset for the iPod. i'll find the link later (its in a magazine).
post #10 of 44
Quote:
Originally posted by Louzer
Yeah, sure, bluetooth included in cars. That'll be the day. Hell, only a minority of cars sell with Radios that have easily accessible (if any) line input jack.

Oh, and a bluetooth enabled iPod. Wonder how long that battery will last. Two hours (new) to 15 minutes (used), probably

I'm not talking about the cheap basic radios, but aftermarket ones (Alpine, etc.) or radios in upper end cars (BMW, etc.)

And for your info, Bluetooth is a low-power wireless technology. The newer spec is even supposed to use less energy than the present one, while allowing more bandwith. Some mice last weeks on a set of batteries right now, so an iPod with good battery time would still be possible.
post #11 of 44
I know it is future hardware, but can't these posts be made in Digital Hub where they belong? Either that, or create a forum for Future Digital Hub or something. I realize Apple's income is becoming more and more based on the success the iPod/iTunes but I would really love to see a distinction between computer and pod. My opinion anyway...
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post #12 of 44
Wow, two people compaining about this being another iPod article. That's interesting. And they even took the time to tell the world that they weren't impressed. Hmmm.

I think it's great to learn that Apple is doing more than meets the eye. I agree the iPod saga is getting worn out in terms of being exciting, and I wonder what amazing new product Apple will release in 2005, if that's possible (they always surprise us... remember how nobody knew about the Airport Express?)
post #13 of 44
Try http://www.bluetake.com/products/BT420EX.htm. For a bluetooth set which looks as though it would plug into the iPod. Cool idea but the add-on pack seems a bit bulky
post #14 of 44
Quote:
Originally posted by coolfactor
Wow, two people compaining about this being another iPod article. That's interesting. And they even took the time to tell the world that they weren't impressed. Hmmm.

You're right, we shouldn't complain, the iPod is the only thing keeping Apple alive.
post #15 of 44
Quote:
Originally posted by the cool gut
I didn't think Bluetooth range was all that great, but I guess still good enough for earphones.

10 meters I think? Thats quite nice..
But after all, the question is, Bluetooth or Airport? Personally I'd vote for Airport...
"There's no bigot like a religious bigot and there's no religion more fanatical than that espoused by Macintosh zealots." ~Martin Veitch, IT Week [31-01-2003]
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"There's no bigot like a religious bigot and there's no religion more fanatical than that espoused by Macintosh zealots." ~Martin Veitch, IT Week [31-01-2003]
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post #16 of 44
why???just why would u want a wireless iPod...honestly, whoever said that before is right...im sick of iPod rumors, i wanna hear about computers...apple is getting off course...and quite honestly, if apple goes under one day i wont be able to use a computer again...sneezcoughcough is just stupid... dude, i guess u really are getting a dell one day!!!
post #17 of 44
Quote:
Originally posted by ineedag5pbnow
why???just why would u want a wireless iPod...honestly, whoever said that before is right...im sick of iPod rumors, i wanna hear about computers...apple is getting off course...

Apple is a business...a business with skills in creating devices that combine digital and analog hardware, great software, elegant design and terrific human touch. This need not be limited to "computers".
post #18 of 44
wireless ipod?
hmmmmmm...

i could see ipod "gatherings" where everyone samples each others music. btw i FINALLY got to actually use an ipod photo yesterday at best buy, and lemme tell ya, it felt PERFECT in my hands with a much better screen than the regular 4g ipod...
post #19 of 44
The only thing that makes sense to me at this point is putting wireless in a dock rather than the iPod itself. There'd be no extra junk in the iPod itself that you wouldn't need, but you could link the docked iPod to your wireless home network to add music to the iPod and to stream to your airtunes stereo directly from the iPod rather than just iTunes.
post #20 of 44
Quote:
Originally posted by BRussell
The only thing that makes sense to me at this point is putting wireless in a dock rather than the iPod itself. There'd be no extra junk in the iPod itself that you wouldn't need, but you could link the docked iPod to your wireless home network to add music to the iPod and to stream to your airtunes stereo directly from the iPod rather than just iTunes.

Actually, thats also what the patent says.
"There's no bigot like a religious bigot and there's no religion more fanatical than that espoused by Macintosh zealots." ~Martin Veitch, IT Week [31-01-2003]
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"There's no bigot like a religious bigot and there's no religion more fanatical than that espoused by Macintosh zealots." ~Martin Veitch, IT Week [31-01-2003]
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post #21 of 44
Moving to Digital Hub...
post #22 of 44
If Apple created a cheap Flash-based iPod, what could it offer that other flash players don't? Wireless streaming from iTunes! Because you can only fit so many files on a (128 MB?) flash drive. Make sence?
post #23 of 44
Quote:
Originally posted by Liono
If Apple created a cheap Flash-based iPod, what could it offer that other flash players don't?

1. Compatibility with the popular iTMS.

2. iPod "panache".
post #24 of 44
The iPod is where it is at right now, and it is a new product that can be much more innovative than a desktop or something.

That and the fact that they can't get the processors that they would like to be able to advance the PowerMac line. I am sure that there are innovations in the pipline, the new iMac is great, the new displays are great.

The competition is moving towards intergrating home computers with the home entertainment center. Maybe Tiger will offer a huge expansion in what can be reached wirelessly. There may be a lull while we wait for Tiger to be released and other companies to figure out what advancements they want to make next.

M$ seems to think that their strategy of intergrating computers and televisions is going to be the next big thing. I like the idea of being able to use my computer as an Tivo, provided that it is an easy process not involving running cables everywhere. I don't know if that is a reality yet.
post #25 of 44
I want to see a wireless sync so I can sync an iPod (don't have one yet and it's going to be a long time before I do) without charging it which is what happens when you put it in the current dock. I also want to see an option to not charge when put in the dock, but run off computer/wall power.
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post #26 of 44
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
Apple is a business...a business with skills in creating devices that combine digital and analog hardware, great software, elegant design and terrific human touch. This need not be limited to "computers".

That's a good thing, because in a couple of years they won't even be called a Computer company anymore, as they'll be out of that business.

Their computer line-up sucks, as it only meets a small segment of the computing population's needs (the only low-cost mac is the eMac, which is laughable to say the least). Their cheapest upgradable computer is the $1500 tower. I can go to Dell's site today, spec out a 3.0GHz Tower, 160GB SATA HD, PCI-Express video, 17" flat screen monitor, 512 MB RAM, all for $800. Its hard to justify spending $2000 grand for a mac tower and LCD when you can get it for less than half the price (and don't start quoting crap like "Yeah, but if you get the Dell spec-to-spec with the mac...", the problem is, I don't need all the mac's specs, but there's nothing you can do about that). Hell, if you want to use the PC headless (which is what I was looking for), its $700. (That's right, a PCI Express video card and LCD costs only $100 more, hmmm). Of course, I also understand apple has all those high-quality parts in it. That would explain why it costs $100 to upgrade from a 80GB to 160GB HD, but it only costs $25 on the Dell (actually $43 to go from 40 to 160).

But, hey, if you don't like Dell's current line-up/specials, just wait a week. As the prices change and deals change week to week.

Apple, on the other hand, has the same price today for all their towers (with the exact same specs) as they did when they were announced way back in May.

My point is that one of these companies actually seems to be in the business of selling computers. The other seems more interested in selling gizmos and banking on their dwindling but loyal customer base to just lap up whatever they offer at whatever price. So its a good thing Apple has the iPod, or otherwise some people in the company would actually have to figure out how to fix their computer business.
post #27 of 44
Quote:
Originally posted by Mac Write
I want to see a wireless sync so I can sync an iPod (don't have one yet and it's going to be a long time before I do) without charging it which is what happens when you put it in the current dock. I also want to see an option to not charge when put in the dock, but run off computer/wall power.

And what's the problem with 'charging' the iPod while its syncing?
post #28 of 44
Louzer I think youv'e posted in the wrong section. Your'e looking for the "PoiNtless JuVenile RantZ" forum.
post #29 of 44
Boy people sure do have a short memory.
Why should this come as a surprise to anybody.
Steve Jobs in an interview with Time Magazine said when talking about the iPod that it was a shame he couldn't get all the features he wanted.
Wanted? asked the interviewer
Answer: Yea like a color screen and wireless capabilities.

Hell that interview was like 2 maybe 3 years ago.
post #30 of 44
You want to see rumors about computers? Well, just to get people going... how about what's marked as 404F on there... is that a display connected to a cpu that looks a lot like the base of the old iLamps?

On second glance, it looks like an airport.. I'm a dumbass =)
post #31 of 44
You guys SERIOUSLY need to read more about the Pattent. Don't even start to talk until you understand more.

http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-...le&RS=AN/Apple

I Googled that link by searching for the application # 20040224638 A1

Like the whole bit about guessing what kind of wireless connection it will use (apparently Apple is leaving it open still).

[0063] In wireless connections, the media terminals 158 do not physically connect. For example, the media player 152 and the media device 154 may include a receiver and transmitter for wireless communications therebetween. By way of example, the connection interface may include one or more of the following interfaces: FM, RF, Bluetooth, 802.11 UWB (ultra wide band), IR, magnetic link (induction) and/or the like.

[0064] In brief, FM (frequency modulation) is a method of impressing data onto an alternating-current (AC) wave by varying the instantaneous frequency of the wave. This scheme can be used with analog or digital data. RF generally refers to alternating current AC having characteristics such that, if the current is input to an antenna, an electromagnetic field is generated suitable for wireless broadcasting and/or communications. The frequencies associated with RF cover a wide range of the electromagnetic radiation spectrum as for example from about 9 kHz to thousands of GHz. Bluetooth generally refers to a computing and telecommunications industry specification that describes how mobile phones, computers and personal digital assistants can easily interconnect with each other using short range wireless connection. 802.11 generally refers to a family of specification for wireless local area networks (WLANs) developed by a working group of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). UWB refers to a wireless technology for transmitting large amounts of digital data over a wide specrum of frequency bands with very low power for a short distance. IR generally refers wireless technoilogies that convey data through infrared radiation.


Some people...
post #32 of 44
Quote:
Originally posted by Robrippin
You guys SERIOUSLY need to read more about the Pattent. Don't even start to talk until you understand more.

Like the whole bit about guessing what kind of wireless connection it will use (apparently Apple is leaving it open still).

Some people...

And your point is? Like you see, we are discussing what connection it'll end up with..
"There's no bigot like a religious bigot and there's no religion more fanatical than that espoused by Macintosh zealots." ~Martin Veitch, IT Week [31-01-2003]
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"There's no bigot like a religious bigot and there's no religion more fanatical than that espoused by Macintosh zealots." ~Martin Veitch, IT Week [31-01-2003]
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post #33 of 44
This could all be a way to disguise a patent for cell-phone transmission of music. Maybe the "media player system" won't use iPods... they're just used here as misdirection.

Then again, if this has nothing to do with cellular signals, it would be cool to set up a "wifi radio station" in your own home; broadcasting your own music to a bunch of different receivers.
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post #34 of 44
People need to read the full patent. It doesn't just discuss wireless. It talks about a dock or media bay that would be a docking station for an iPod but would include other functionality lik another HD, a chip, a battery, and/or power. That these docks could be specialized to have speakers or microphones or screens for video.

Also, check out some of the other details: they show an iPod that would plug into a PC (like an 8 track) or into a notebook where the track pad would be (like an iPod in its packaging [can't find a better metaphor).

Who knows what of this will come true, but what we do know is that Apple just attempted to patent every aspect of what people WANT Apple to deliver someday.

Read the patent in detail: they mention every possible wireless medium (FM, RF, Bluetooth, 802.11, UtraWideBand, IR, Magnetic link). They talk about every user scenario of streaming media. They talk about all modes of connectivity and docking of a player unit to a dock to a base station to a PC. They talk about every type of content from music, to photos to video to games to contacts to calendars.
post #35 of 44
Quote:
Originally posted by Louzer
Yeah, sure, bluetooth included in cars. That'll be the day. Hell, only a minority of cars sell with Radios that have easily accessible (if any) line input jack.

Actually I believe that the new Toyota Prius has built in bluetooth, although I am not sure of its functionality.

Quote:
Originally posted by Mac Write
I want to see a wireless sync so I can sync an iPod (don't have one yet and it's going to be a long time before I do) without charging it which is what happens when you put it in the current dock. I also want to see an option to not charge when put in the dock, but run off computer/wall power.

Actually you can, at least if you own a PC. If you use the firewire adapter that came with your iPod (I believe it goes from 8 pin to 4 pin firewire, simply called iLink on my Sony Vaio), you can sync the iPod without having it recharge.
post #36 of 44
I agree with dp123.

The PC dock (like an 8 track) would be awesome, along with a car stereo deck that would work the same!

Something odd though, it talks about FM transmission from the iPod. Hasn't Griffin and Belkin kinda done just that a while back? How does this patent affect them?
post #37 of 44
Quote:
Originally posted by Robrippin
I agree with dp123.

The PC dock (like an 8 track) would be awesome, along with a car stereo deck that would work the same!

Something odd though, it talks about FM transmission from the iPod. Hasn't Griffin and Belkin kinda done just that a while back? How does this patent affect them?

Also stated by dp123, this patent includes all types of wireless transmission technology to ensure that Apple can use any of which they choose to when/if they do release this wireless iPod.
post #38 of 44
Quote:
Originally posted by Louzer
And what's the problem with 'charging' the iPod while its syncing?

It's bad that in every sync/charge, you loose a charge cycle. Others and I like to wait for the battery to be fully used before charging it so that we get the max life out of it, but if we sync it daily to update play counts continue a audio book etc, this will kill the batteries number of recharge cycles.

Face is If I only use an iPod for 3 hours a day, but need to update the info on it daily, I don't want it charged daily, but every 3 days instead.
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post #39 of 44
You don't "lose a charge cycle" every time you plug the iPod in to transfer songs. That shows a fundamental misunderstanding about how battery chemistry works.
post #40 of 44
Quote:
Originally posted by Mac Write
It's bad that in every sync/charge, you loose a charge cycle. Others and I like to wait for the battery to be fully used before charging it so that we get the max life out of it, but if we sync it daily to update play counts continue a audio book etc, this will kill the batteries number of recharge cycles.

Face is If I only use an iPod for 3 hours a day, but need to update the info on it daily, I don't want it charged daily, but every 3 days instead.

Besides this "charge cycle count" nonsense, If you use USB 2 to sync, as far as I know, in general USB doesn't have all that much power, thus your iPod doesn't charge (that's why if you want to charge your iPod in the dock, and use USB 2, you need to plug the firewire cable into the power adapter and into the wall). Either that, or use an adapter to go from 6 to 4 pin firewire (and then back to 6 again) to simply drop the two power wires (that's all the extra two wires are).

But do this ONLY if you are wearing that tin foil hat and believe this "charge cycle count" BS.
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